Struggle icon Makhalima to be honoured
STRUGGLE stalwart and ex-Robben Island prisoner Mfengu Makhalima has been recognised by the National Heritage Council for his role in the fight against apartheid.
The council hosted the 79-year-old Fort Beaufort man in King William’s Town on Wednesday to announce he would receive the prestigious Ubuntu Honour award.
It will be bestowed on him at a Golden Shield Heritage Award ceremony in Kimberley today.
While Makhalima’s story was never made as public as other anti-apartheid activists like Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo or Chris Hani, he was thankful to be honoured while still alive.
“I did not expect to receive this honour. There is so much I’ll be leaving behind and I would like to pass on what I have learned during my years,” Makhalima said.
Advocate Sonwabile Mancotywa paid tribute to Makhalima in King William’s Town, saying previous recipients were outstanding citizens like Mandela, late Cuba leader Fidel Castro and, more recently, Miriam Makeba.
Mancotywa said the Ubuntu Honour seeks to recognise any distinguished global citizen.
The council announced that a documentary would be made telling Makhalima’s story and his biography is also to be published.
“One very important thing we need to recognise is the role you played behind the scenes,” Mancotywa said. —